Blytheville officer cleared in fatal shooting

A letter released by Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington clears a Blytheville officer who shot a suspect that later died from his injuries.

Here is the letter, addressed to Arkansas State Police Lt. Brant Tosh from Ellington.

Dear Lt. Tosh:

On April 7, 2019 at approximately 11:23 p.m. Blytheville Police Department (BPD) Officer Leann Norman was dispatched to the Dodge Store at 3605 South Division in Blytheville in response to a store employee being attacked. Dodge Store employees told Officer Norman when she arrived on scene that the suspect, later identified as Marzues Scott, had walked east in the direction of the Deerfield Inn Hotel. Officer Norman came in contact with the suspect in the parking lot of the Hotel. She gave Scott a verbal command to stop and come to her. He ignored Officer Norman’s orders. She confronted Scott on Kari Lane west of Deerfield Inn, where he continued to ignore her commands to stop. He then turned around and approached Officer Norman, becoming aggressive towards the officer. She once again told Scott to stop and back away from her. He once again ignored her commands, becoming even more aggressive towards the officer. Officer Norman drew her service weapon at this point, ordering Scott to stay back and get on the ground. Scott struck Officer Norman several times in the face and head, knocking her to the ground. She fired her service weapon, striking Scott. Although having already being struck by gunfire, Scott continued to approach the officer aggressively while she was still on the ground. She once again ordered Scott to stay back, but he did not slow his approach. Officer Norman fired another shot striking Scott, causing him to fall to the ground.

Officer Norman radioed to BPD Dispatch, logging shots fired and asked for an ambulance to be sent to the scene. Officer Norman made the scene safe and rendered first aid to Scott. BPD Officer Nathan Krupin arrived at 11:38 p.m. to assist Officer Norman. Pafford Ambulance arrived at the same time and transported Scott to Great River Medical Center in Blytheville. Scott was pronounced deceased at 12:15 a.m. Arkansas Section 5-2-601 (b)(2) allows the use of deadly force if the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use – or imminent use – of deadly force. Officer Norman was struck in the face and neck and knocked to the ground by Scott. After these blows, Scott continued to pursue and show aggression towards her. This, along with his repeated defiance of her commands, Officer Norman was reasonable in believing that her life was in danger when she fired her service weapon.

No prosecution will follow in this case. This matter will remain an open investigation until all evidence from the Crime Lab, including the autopsy and toxicology report, has been completed and made part of this file.

Scott Ellington Prosecuting Attorney 2nd Judicial District

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